Does anybody else want to get anything on the record before November 3rd, just keep this in the can, please? Tony and Gailen, I am 100 percent confident that Joe Biden is going to win this election cut there. Oh, I do want to get something on the record. I am one hundred percent confident that President Trump is going to win this election. OK, play the one that's right after the election.
Hello and welcome to the 538 Politics podcast. I'm Galen. There are five days until Election Day and close to 80 million ballots have already been cast. As we're sitting down to tape this, that's more than half of the overall expected turnout this year.
As of today, Thursday, our forecast shows Biden with the best odds he's had so far this year of winning the presidency with an eighty nine percent chance. Of course, previously his highest chances were eighty eight percent. So not that big of a difference. But people who are obsessively refreshing that page will see that it got up to eighty nine. Democrats have a seventy seven percent chance of winning the Senate and a ninety eight percent chance of maintaining control of the House.
So today we're going to check in on the state of the race, but we're also going to talk about the stories that we think are currently being under covered as we head into Election Day. So maybe it's a particular race, a court decision, ballot measure or polling trend. We're going to try to catch listeners up on what else they should be paying attention to as things get down to the wire.
And here with me to do that, our senior politics writer, Perry Bacon, Jr.. Hey, Perry, good to see you. Likewise. Also here with us is senior politics writer Claire Malone, Claire Picayune and managing editor Michael Cohen. Hey, Mike.
Hey, Gailen, everyone. So before we get started, as we've said, we are committed to wellness on this podcast, five days out from Election Day. This is your this is your check in. How's everyone doing?
I'm Jason, who is very healthy. But is that clear?
It's a green juice. Damn. Our viewers on YouTube will be able to see that Claire has a bright green drink in her hand.
Yes, there's a lot of spinach who protein.
So Claire is doing well more than I am. My eating habits have deteriorated as the election has approached.
Yeah, I don't think I've gone for a single run this week, so I'm kind of right there with you. How are you hanging in there?
Just ready for it to be over back.
All right. So I mentioned the forecast odds in the intro. What do people make of the state of the race at this point in time? Michael, why don't you kick us off?
I mean, let me sort of be very blunt here.
The polling is pretty conclusive that Joe Biden has a big, big lead nationally and he has a significant lead in swing states. I don't think there's there's any way to spin it. Otherwise, the polls would have to be really, really wrong for President Trump to win this election. Right now, our forecast puts the odds of the polls being that wrong at about one in ten, which isn't nothing. But we definitely are in that territory now where in 2016, Trump is is only a normal polling error behind.
We are now in Trump needs a historically big polling error to win this, which could happen. But that's what he needs to happen.
So will this data base take? But, you know, the Biden campaign has been very much like this race is closer than the polls. We don't believe the polls that are showing him ahead by this much. But Pelosi and Hoyer the last couple of days to sort of drop the act and said we expect Joe Biden to win, probably called on Tuesday, if not on Wednesday morning. So you're finally getting some signs of key Democrats moving away from the sort of the polls might be wrong.
We're very nervous to sort of saying the same thing Mike is saying, which is that either we're going to have massive polling error or Joe Biden is in a good position to win pretty handily.
I mean, it's not just polling, right?
Like if President Trump wins this election and again, our forecast says there's about a one in 10 chance he does, then I think we and a lot of other people are going to have to revisit a ton of stuff about how we understand politics. Given the economic downturn and given the pandemic, we would have to basically go back to the drawing board and be like, OK, our understanding of how the political system works is wildly off. What's going on here?
That's the territory we're in now.
You know, I actually don't agree with that, since I'm skeptical the economic numbers matter that much in this environment. I'm skeptical that the pandemic has really changed a lot of votes. I mean, lean toward the more we have two polarized camps and maybe we're undercounting one. So it would only it would only change my sense of like we need to be better at counting the Republican camp. I'm dubious the economy, like Biden was leading by six or seven, pretending like he's leading by nine or ten now.
So I'm not saying it didn't matter. It did that it's a big gap. But that said, I still think overall, if we get up and Trump won, I would say, OK, we need to do a bit better accounting. But I sort of knew that the. It was divided and this really strong way. Now, that's true, I agree with that, and we could always be better at counting. I guess for me it's more like maybe electoral coverage at least should not even concern itself at all with what is actually happening in the world.
You know, if Trump wins this election, maybe it should just be like literally how many Republicans are there, how many Democrats are there?
And that's it.
One question I have given that our theme today is under covered stories, which we'll dig into in a minute, is our forecast shows that Biden has a 30 percent chance of winning in a landslide and Trump has about a 10 percent chance of winning the election period. A lot of coverage throughout the past several months have focused a lot on that 10 percent chance. Right. Trump could still win. The polls could be wrong. There could be a swing. There could be a big news event that changes things.
Have we under covered the possibility of a Biden landslide?
So the answer to your question, I think, is like literally, yes. Is that those possibilities are not being equally covered. And if you're seeing a Biden landslide is much more likely, which is what the data says. But in reality, like Trump, winning would be such a hugely important, perhaps changing America, changing international relations, perhaps changing, making America more autocratic. So in that sense, I think a 10 percent chance of something very dramatic happening is worth covering, in my view.
More than like Biden won and he also won Georgia. And Texas is like interesting electorally and interesting, probably policy wise in some ways. But Biden winning more states than we thought is to me, not as important a story as Trump winning. So I think the balance is off, but I think it's off correctly, if that makes any sense.
Yeah, I agree with that. Yeah. There's just like an instinct that reporters have as human beings not to want to be embarrassed. Right. Because a lot of people had eggs smashed all over their face in 2016. So I also think it's that there's certainly the highbrow high falutin explanation, but also some of it is just like pure human fear of like roasting on the Internet.
Yeah, I think we're going to get into this more. But there is a cost, right, to not covering the 30 percent chance of a Biden landslide, that landslide, which probably means Democrats have a bigger majority in the Senate. And the House looks very different policy wise than a Biden ekes it out. Democrats don't take the Senate or barely take the Senate. So there is a cost there. But in general, I agree, it's like Trump winning is such a different world that it it really deserves investigation and explanation.
So you're making the argument that Trump winning is not really the status quo or you think that the status quo is dramatic enough that it should be covered over a Biden landslide?
I think Trump in a second term is going to be much different than the status quo. And I think that he is held back some of his more, you know, like the idea of getting rid of birthright citizenship. I think it's something people are talking about this out there. I just think Trump in a second term will be unrestrained in terms of firing a lot of cabinet members is like hard to imagine what he might do, completely unrestrained from electoral consequences.
But I think it is a to me, it's not just a status quo, in my view.
Perry's here to wake you up. I mean, does everyone agree?
Because I think that is a question like does the second term look like the status quo? And therefore, maybe that's why people aren't covering it as much? Or is is it very different?
No, I think it does look different. And I think, again, going back to some of the human reasons why not as many journalists may be writing about the possibility of a second Trump term, is that when you write things where you quote experts talking about the things that could potentially happen when Trump is like unrestricted by electoral consequences, you probably start to get into territory that feels a little bit scary for you, the reporter and the reader. And you might be worried that people will think you're being histrionic or alarmist.
And I think there is legitimately some trepidation to be too alarmist. But I mean, we have seen four years of his what's the old phrase? If someone shows you who they are, believe them, believe the right like I mean, Trump has been doing that for four years.
Like, we have a pretty good handle on his instincts.
I wrote a little short piece for our live blog on Tuesday about what would do with the second term. And when I finished, I was like, oh, dear, that's that. People are going to think the civil service, all the things were very realistic, you know? I mean, he's going to fire Christopher Wray, Gina Hartsville and other people, anyone who's sort of like is trying to restrain him within the government, he's going to try to fire immediately.
He might be very aggressive with protesters and trying to, you know, send federal agents on them, which he already did in Portland. But a much more aggressive version of the. Yeah, when I wrote that piece, I was like, oh, I can see why this reads alarmist, but. Everything seems pretty accurate as well, and those firings that you're mentioning, that's based off of reporting from inside the Trump administration, and that's not just like speculation based off of he fired a bunch of people in his first term.
This is actual reporting about what he would do in a second.
Yeah, EKOS wrote a story about this, so it's not a random guess.
The other reason, a second Trump term, if Trump wins, would be different than the status quo. Remember, like all the evidence we have is that a majority of the American public, even though it's a somewhat evenly divided nation and a polarized nation, all the evidence we have is that a majority of the American public does not like Trump. The president Trump lost the popular vote in twenty sixteen, won the Electoral College. Since then, Democrats had a very good midterm year and all the polling we have shows Democrats are doing very well in twenty twenty.
So if instead Trump wins in twenty twenty, then I think we have to re-evaluate what does the American public want, what is their tolerance for anti-democratic action and all that kind of stuff.
Right. All right. So I think we have in a roundabout way here said that both the appropriate amount of attention is being paid to the 10 percent chance that Trump could win. But also it's been under covered what that second term would actually look like. Is that correct? I think that's right.
There's not been a lot of stories that have been like here's Trump's policy agenda in a second term. And I think we should do kind of more of those in less of the sort of I saw seven street signs in Pennsylvania that are pro Trump and therefore Trump might win like those stories. There was a little R with fewer stories of this sort of random speculation that Trump might win and more about, OK, Trump might win. What happens next?
Well, and to be somewhat generous to the media, part of that is also the Trump campaign. And President Trump himself haven't said very much outright about what they would do in the second term. I mean, you saw that in the last debate where the moderator asked several questions that were like, specifically, what would you do in your second term on X or Y? And President Trump didn't really have any answers on that stuff.
All right. So we've established that. I've also asked you all to come up with stories that you think are being under covered. A second term for Trump was one of them. Claire, what are you thinking about in terms of other things that you think are being under covered this election cycle?
Sure. I am interested in some of these rulings that we're seeing trickle out from the Supreme Court and state Supreme Court. And some of the wording in these decisions from the Supreme Court are interesting. So let me back up a second. I think the state that could potentially be the state we're all talking about on election night is Pennsylvania. And the Supreme Court, I believe yesterday afternoon basically punted a little bit on a ruling about whether or not ballots could be counted when they were received by mail three days after the election, which is the current rule in Pennsylvania.
And the Republicans were asking the court to decide that question before the election. The court said, no, we can't do that. The timeline is too quick, but they kind of left things open. I believe Gorsuch kind of said this case is sort of still before us, i.e., we could potentially still weigh in on this after Election Day. And I tie that decision to the wording in a Brett Kavanaugh concurring decision in a Wisconsin case where Kavanaugh said that absentee ballots that flow in after Election Day, he said that they could potentially flip the results of an election, which is interesting language to use about what people otherwise think of as valid absentee ballots.
And he also said, and this is a thing I think is a bit detached from reality, which is those states also want to be able to definitively announce the results of the election on election night or as soon as possible. Thereafter, as dedicated listeners will know, we, along with many other people in the media, have been saying, like it's going to take longer probably to know the results of the election this time around because of mail in ballots.
So I think there's some interesting signals being sent from the court system. And if we do see disputes in a state like Pennsylvania, which is what's the model say, it's likely a tipping point.
Yeah. And so I think that that is a really interesting story that has a little bit of a barrier to entry, because as with all Supreme Court cases, it's shrouded in a bit in the circuitous decisions that are all kind of coming together. And there's lots of stuff to keep track of. But I do think it's a potentially really big story.
Yeah, for sure. And to supply some more context here, I think in general, leading up to this election, Democrats have tried to extend the period of time by. Which boards of election can accept mail ballots because more people are voting by mail and we also saw over the summer some mail processing times increase. And so there was generally that worry. Democrats in states around the country tried to extend that deadline. Republicans sued to not extend the deadline.
And part of this is also that Democrats expect more of their voters to vote by mail. And these have been making their way through the state courts and to the Supreme Court.
I'm curious from Perry and Mike, how much you guys see this ultimately affecting this election or setting certain precedents for further down the line as to how much states have control over their own rules versus the courts, the Republicans and state supreme courts and the Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court and in the Republicans in federal courts seem to basically be taking the view that state legislators write election law and that it cannot really be changed. And in a lot of cases, the choices can we make voting in a pandemic easier or harder?
And it's not clear to me why Harter keeps being chosen. The president is now being said if a state legislator in Florida, Texas trifecta a Republican state, it seems to me, unless they say we are making it harder for a black and Latino people to vote and they can only vote in this one location, it'll be viewed as a legal limitation, not an illegal one. It is looks like we're moving toward a phase in which the skepticism about, you know, even in the 1960s, it wasn't as if states often said black people cannot vote, you know?
And so we're getting to the point where everything is legal except there. And it looks like Kavanagh's opinion did not suggest he knows how elections work. The John Roberts opinion from when he struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act suggested he didn't know how race in America worked there, acting like Republican partisans right now, not thinking about the history of voting in the country.
And we should note here that those justices are products of the Bush administration. And the Bush administration did a lot, I think, to pioneer some of what we see now of these like modern rollbacks of the Voting Rights Act or did a lot to push the narrative that voter fraud is pervasive and a real worry. I mean, what's so interesting is that obviously we all know about the 2000 election and the sort of voting stuff that happened there. But there was also in, I believe, Missouri, John Ashcroft's election, which he lost, which he tried to say the Democrats committed voter fraud there, and he obviously became Bush's attorney general.
So the groundwork has been laid for a lot of this stuff for a couple of decades, I think, in true earnest. But certainly claims of voter fraud, Democratic voter fraud, have been linked to democratic cities, black parts of the country or black parts of states and cities. And it's obviously got racialized overtones, undertones, tones, whatever you want to say.
Yeah. And the only way for elections to hold the people in power accountable is if they accurately reflect the will of the people and the will of the people is responsive to whatever is happening. We have this history and we see more of it now in some respects of essentially the gears of democracy being bent and skewed in a way that the kind of raw input the American will is then twisted into something else.
Although we should say, I think overall in this election in twenty twenty on average, it has become easier to vote and we may well see what the results of that looks like once we start getting ballots in. I mean, I think we're expecting record breaking turnout and more people than ever before have been able to vote early and by absentee ballot or by mail ballot. This election itself may well be an example of what the American vote looks like when more people have the opportunity to vote.
And we should be clear, like one potential storyline coming out of this election is that democracy clapped back.
Well, yeah, politics is so much a part of our pop culture now. I mean, I've been thinking a lot about like. Yes, the way Trump has changed politics. Yes. The way Trump has changed the Republican Party. But just the way that Trump has changed people's engagement with politics. I mean, it really has permeated like every part of the culture. I mean, the turnout is projected to be how many millions more than 2016, which was already a historically high turnout election, which is massive for us.
Kearby somewhere up to 20 million, more than twenty sixteen or even more than that, potentially. I want to get to some of the other stories that we think might be under covered this year. But first, today's podcast is brought to you by. And you radio on Sirius XM, ESPNU, radio on Sirius XM is where you need to be if you live and breathe college football.
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We talked a little bit about how Trump's policy in his second term might be under covered. Michael, what are you thinking in terms of what could be under covered this cycle?
Mine is much more narrow than the health of our democracy writ large. So let me just say that up front specifically, mine is just like a pretty specific polling trend that I just find interesting and that cuts against a lot of the other polling data we're seeing, namely the fact that many voters, one, do not really seem to blame President Trump for the economic downturn and still think President Trump is well equipped to handle the economy. Those polls that asked, like, who do you think it's better to lead on the economy show a roughly even race between Biden and Trump?
Usually, I should say Trump is a few percentage points ahead. But one result that really, really stood out to me and kind of speaks to this, and I'm quite sure what to make of it, to be honest with you, is Gallup asked people, would you say you and your family are better off now than you were four years ago, or are you worse off in mid-September of this year? Fifty six percent of registered voters said they were better off.
So this is in the midst of a pandemic, an economic downturn. That number is pretty stunning to me. And and I don't I'm not quite sure what to make of it, but it seems under covered will also.
Isn't it surprising, given the historical context to that every other time that Gallup has asked that question, it's been below a majority, like a minority of Americans have said they were better off four years ago. Yeah.
So in 2012, after the election, it was 45 percent. In 2004, before the election, it was 47 percent in 1992. Before the election, it was 38 percent. And then in the summer of 1984, a few months before the election, it was 44 percent.
So I don't know. I think there are a few ways to read this, right. Like one is just like partisanship. So Republicans answering this question, I think, probably interpret it as a referendum on President Trump. And so probably pretty universally say they're better off then add in the people who genuinely think they're better off and and you get fifty six percent. Maybe that's like the simplest answer is the answer.
That is actually a really interesting number.
It's weird, right? Yeah. So if if President Trump wins the election, people will go back and point at this number and point that Trump's approval ratings on the economy and is who do you think is better able to handle the economy? They will point at those numbers and say, see, we should have known. Right now it seems like what Perry said earlier, which is just that people's economic circumstances and the economic performance of the country overall is sort of becoming more and more divorced from how they vote in an election.
But if President Trump wins, then I think we'll look back at this number and be like, hmm, that's interesting. Is it also just an issue of branding?
I mean, when you talk to voters who like Trump, to Obama, to Trump voters in 2016, for example, a lot of times they stress that he's a businessman. You know, they saw Trump as, you know, a self-made billionaire or somebody who made themselves from a millionaire to a billionaire. Is it like Trump branding as a part of this? I mean, I'm just curious why it is.
I'm sure that maybe that is part of it. But also, like, look, before the pandemic, the economy was doing really well. Now we can have a debate about how much credit President Trump deserves for that or how much credit any president deserves for any economy. But from the perspective of a voter, the economy was doing really well for a lot of people, not all people that pandemic had.
There's so much to criticize in Trump's response to the pandemic. But I think maybe for a lot of voters, they frankly don't see the pandemic as Trump's fault, so to speak. And so they look at all that and think, oh, yeah, if if I want someone to be at the helm of this economy after the pandemic, President Trump makes sense.
So we'll see after the election. But I know that some scholars and writing about their view that economic performance is increasingly separate from electoral outcomes, basically, and that's kind of my view, is like it would actually make sense that voters don't blame the economic downturn from the pandemic on Trump, because I think the economy would decline if Biden, Obama, Mitt Romney, like there's economic line everywhere. That's, of course, going to happen. I think the pandemic and the pandemic recession are related.
But I think blaming Trump for, like, not encouraging mass wearing is a lot easier than blaming Trump for unemployment going up, because we close a lot of businesses, which I think Joe Biden or anybody else would have done.
So this is I think the voters are looking at this somewhat rationally, though, although the better off than you were four years ago, I wonder if people's minds automatically go to economics on that question because it doesn't explicitly say, like, are you better off economically than you were four years ago? It's just overall.
Yeah, that's the part that just I don't understand. But I guess if people are thinking about it economically or the fact that, like, maybe there's lagging economic effects of the pandemic for people, for these people who are registered voters, like, I don't know, it's an odd interpretation potentially of the question.
The other somewhat weird result from that Gallup polling is not that many people mention the economy as one of the top most important issues, at least relative to where that number has been historically, which is really high. Now, there is an explanation for that. There's a pandemic. A lot of people in the polls cited the government, poor leadership. A lot of people cited race relations, racism, the economy as sort of like it's always the biggest issue.
And as Perio is saying, both for structural reasons, maybe the economic performance is becoming more divorced from electoral outcomes, but also just for, like, shit going on in the country, reasons maybe it's not at the top of voters lists right now.
Just as I put it, this question the question is, would you say you and your family are better off now than you were four years ago or worse off now? I wonder if the you and your family does sort of prime around the economy. Maybe I'm wrong as interesting, but I have to read it out. The question and how? Because I'm a little surprised there's all too. But I think I immediately thought about the economy, too. And I think most people think the economy has been decent under Trump until recently.
And we should also say that this is one poll from one firm and it is a notable result, especially when you compare it historically, which we often do across a single poll. But there's other data that we can look to as well to explain our current political environment. So let's get to you, Perry. What is your under covered story of the twenty twenty election?
So I'm going to do two things quickly. The first is California has all these ballot initiatives and this is not an uncovered story. But I think California, considering how much of the country lives in that state, is a little bit under covered. So California has three big propositions that I think will go to the question of like, you know, California is kind of the center of liberal America, but it'll go to the question of like, how left is California?
So one of them is a Proposition 16, which seeks to repeal, you know, currently in California law, California, 1996, 1996 banned the use of affirmative action in college admissions and the awarding of government contracts. So there's now a provision to allow that to be used again. And that's basically divided in the polling evenly. So it looks like liberal California may reject affirmative action. Second ballot initiative, which is Prop 22, the state of California is the legislature.
And the governor enacted a law that would basically force Uber and Lyft and companies like that to treat the people who work for them as sort of formal employees with benefits. But Uber and Lyft are trying to get a referendum passed to get rid of that law. So, again, it's a question of like, will the California voters align with Uber, Lyft in those companies or with the more populous view of policy? And the third is Proposition 15. And Prop 15 would basically make it easier to raise property taxes for commercial properties in California.
So, again, it raises the issue of like California's pretty left. But Will, does it actually want to raise taxes or not? So how left is California is actually a really interesting subject, and that's what these things will all bring up. I think this is such an interesting debate.
And also, if people want to extrapolate the dynamic out to a national level, if the Democrats do take control of government, I think some of these same dynamics start to come into play. I wrote a piece about Dianne Feinstein and a couple of years ago and a person who worked in California government said like, listen, all of California politics are basically about like it's like renters versus owners dynamics. Right? Like there's a certain level of like wealthy liberal generally, like white people who maybe have establishment socially liberal ideas, but who are not populists, who are not done with blowing up the system.
And I think that that's like if you magnify it and that's like the entire debate within the Democratic Party right now. So that dynamic is super interesting.
And in fact. Voters in thirty two states will decide one hundred twenty statewide ballot measures on November 3rd, according to a count from Ballot Pedia. So a lot of these things from legalizing marijuana, there's some redistricting ballot measures. There are other things relating to elections like top two or top four primaries, campaign contribution limits. Colorado is considering whether or not to join that national popular vote interstate compact, where the winner of the popular vote is who you would decide your electors to.
And California is also considering whether or not to let felons vote. So there are important issues on the ballot across the country. But again, coming back to what we're seeing in California, do you have a sense of where the voters there are leaning and maybe some indication of where the Democratic Party heads as a result?
So it looks like the bringing back affirmative action is likely to lose. It looks like the property tax bill is really close. And so that's that's an interesting one. And it looks like the deregulating Uber and Lyft might pass. So you might have the three more conservative stances. Allwyn, it's possible the polling and all of these things is all fairly close. So I think it's hard to know.
But, yes, the deregulation stuff of Uber and Lyft, I actually find that slightly surprising, knowing nothing about the campaigns for these ballot measures right now, in part because there's been such a A.. Big tech. And I do kind of put those companies under that umbrella because they are tech companies. There's been a real like bipartisan. We think big tech is the new evil thing in America movement over the past couple of years. And I kind of think it's going to be a big dynamic in twenty, twenty one in Washington, kind of no matter who who wins the election.
So it's interesting, like that surprises me a little bit that potentially the more conservative position on that Uber Lyft thing would would prevail.
And also for some more context here, this is the most expensive ballot initiative in the history of the United States, meaning that the companies are putting in all the money.
So one reason they might win is because they're spending a lot of money to win this fight. It looks like the polling is showing the uber liberal likely to win this. That is the one where the polling is the least close and they actually correct. They like they're going to win this.
Yeah, I think those companies like Lyft, Uber, Post-paid, et cetera, have contributed two hundred million.
And that overall ballot initiative spending in California, according to Ballot Pedia is seven hundred million. Meaning like I guess only four years ago we thought of like a presidential campaign as costing about a billion dollars. So just on ballot measures alone, California is quickly approaching that much spending on these measures. You mentioned you had one more thing that you wanted to mention as being undercover.
Gailen, I talked about this before the podcast or at the end. So I'm going to go through our short list of things because these are things that are undercover. I want to make sure they're all mentioned at least once. So so we talked about redistricting and the overall state legislature. Elections are always under covered, but that's a huge story for two reasons. One, redistricting. And two, because you have the potential of states that are maybe trifectas now not being trifectas or becoming trifectas.
The biggest story I would say is the state legislator in Texas might flip to the Democrats. So that would be a big story if that happened on Election Day.
Yeah, absolutely, Perry. I think in 2010 and the years afterwards, a lot of Americans didn't realize how much control of political maps and therefore congressional delegations were determined by the outcome of the 2010 midterms. I think that people are a little more aware now because of the gerrymandering battles that went to the Supreme Court in all of these different ballot measures that have also gone to the public over the past decade. But of course, we do the census every 10 years.
The year after the census, we redistrict our state legislative and congressional boundaries. Right. And so after 2010, Republicans were in control of drawing the seats for 55 percent of congressional districts in America. Democrats were in control of 10 percent. And to give people somewhat of a picture of what things looked like this year and how much of control of redistricting is at stake right now, 27 percent of House districts are likely to be drawn by Republicans, 11 percent are likely to be drawn by Democrats, and then 30 percent by independent commissions or Democrats and Republicans working together.
So that gives you a total of roughly 70 percent. That means another 30 percent of congressional districts. Who gets to draw them or whether or not the two parties have to coordinate is up for the public to determine in the 20 20 elections. So 30 percent of. Of congressional seats and of course, then also state legislative seats is a lot of power that's on the ballot in this election. And again, we'll see. I personally am curious when Democrats probably have more control over redistricting in this round, if they choose to enact these kind of bipartisan or nonpartisan or independent redistricting commissions, or if they decide to gerrymander themselves as both parties have a long history of doing in America.
That's yet to be seen. And maybe we'll do some follow up episodes of the gerrymandering project, as longtime listeners will remember from, I think, three years ago at this point. But yes, redistricting is a big thing that we have not yet talked about this cycle. So I just wanted to put that out there.
So we didn't talk about the potential of Biden being elected a Republican Senate. And that would be interesting because then it becomes a question of how does his cabinet get confirmed or they get confirmed at all? Can he name even the Supreme Court? Another related issue might be Biden's promise to name the first black woman to the Supreme Court. I do think in a normal year with normal kidneys, they would have been a big thing where you're talking about what black women might be.
Name is Stephen Breyer leaving that kind of thing. That's an undercover story. Probably the Senate races in Kansas, Montana and Alaska have been pretty close and they probably deserve more coverage. And maybe Jamie Harrison is going to probably get a little too much coverage. We have the first Asian-American vice presidential nominee or presidential nominee in Kamala Harris. I think she's been covered a lot as a black woman nominee, not as much as an Asian-American. That's a story probably under covered.
Last thing I would say is like the idea that we have the governor of a state, there's a plot to kill her, then the leader of the other party had an event that sort of taunted her. I just think the idea that in Michigan there's a debate about whether you can bring guns to polling locations, I think the polarization has been covered a lot. How potentially dangerous I think we're getting has not been covered as much as I think looking back, it's like the depths and the danger of it, I think is maybe a little bit underappreciated.
So just to echo a couple of things, Perry said I could not agree more that like partisan polarization gets plenty of coverage, but much of that coverage is like, oh, isn't it a shame how this has grinded everything to a halt the ways in which partisan polarization creates truly, truly dangerous circumstances for democracy, but also for just bad circumstances for people? You know, the Michigan example really, really comes to the fore here. I really could not agree with that more.
And then I would also echo what Perry said about coverage of Harris. You know, it is somewhat typical for a vice presidential nominee. You get like a rush of coverage when their first name and then they kind of fade to the background. But Harris, as the first Asian-American on the on a major party ticket, as the first black woman on a major party ticket and on a ticket with a presidential nominee who is really freaking old. I feel like Harris, her background, her views, the historic nature of her nomination should have all gotten more coverage.
Yeah, I don't say.
We've also gotten messages from listeners asking us to talk about how Asian-Americans are processing the election and in particular, focus on the historic nature of Kamala Harris nomination. I should say. We have written up some of the polling on Asian-Americans on the website. They make up about four point seven percent of the overall electorate. And again, it's kind of crazy to think of Asian-Americans as a monolith because the viewpoint diversity is truly massive, ranging from Vietnamese Americans who are overwhelmingly Republican to South Asian, Indian or Japanese Americans who are overwhelmingly Democratic.
But overall, if you look at some of the polling that we have, and I should say our colleague, Drew Almatov wrote a piece on this on the website that people should go check out roughly it's two thirds Democratic, one third Republican, depending on the data source that you got. But again, people should read more about that on the website. All right. We've been going for a while, but I just want to say before we jump off the line here, does anybody else want to get anything on the record before, you know, we're now five days away from the election?
It's kind of a speak now or forever. Hold your peace kind of moment, something that you're thinking about before November 3rd.
Oh, I do. Just keep this in the can, please, Tony and Galen. I am 100 percent confident that Joe Biden is going to win this election. OK, cut there. Oh, I do want to get something on the record, I am 100 percent confident that President Trump is going to win this election.
OK, Turtle, Turtle, if you could just save both of those.
Play the one that's right after the election.
All right. Anyone else? All right. Thanks, everybody. Thank you, Mike Klare and Perry, for sharing some thoughts here. Thanks again. Thank you, guys.
And I should mention before we go, that listener should go check out the 538 store at five thirty eight dotcom slash store. We have all kinds of five Fox sweatshirts and bags. And I mean, I don't know how much longer it's going to be around. I don't know if Firefox is around all year or just around the elections, but people should definitely go check that out at 538 dotcom slash store. But anyway, my name is Gail Drew. Tony Chow is in the virtual control room.
A bit of Gary Curtis is on audio editing. You can get in touch by emailing us a podcast at 538 Dotcom. You can also, of course, tweet us with any questions or comments. If you're a fan of the show, leave us a rating or review in the Apple podcast store or tell someone about us. Thanks for listening and we'll see you soon.